We all know Hoggy’s not afraid of going in at the deep end and that’s exactly what he’s about to do this summer. To raise vital funds for Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB), a fantastic cricket development and HIV/AIDS charity, he’s set himself the tough challenge of completing four open-water swimming events, ranging from a half mile to 5km, between now and late August.
The former England, Yorkshire and Leicestershire fast bowler, who took 248 Test wickets, will take on the Great North Swim at Lake Windermere between June 12th and 14th, the Great East Swim in Suffolk on June 20, the Great Manchester Swim at Salford Quays on July 4 and the Great Scottish Swim on August 29.
All money raised by Matthew will go to CWB which, since its formation in 2005, has done incredible work aimed helping, educating and developing local communities around the world through the spread and growth of cricket. Ten years later and CWB has delivered more than 50 projects in nine countries, coached over 130,000 children and trained over 3,000 cricket coaches.
As well as using cricket to raise HIV/AIDS awareness, CWB has also used it to rehabilitate child soldiers in northern Uganda, rebuild communities in post-genocide Rwanda and worked with Maasai warriors to empower women against FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) in Kenya. The charity currently visits five Africa countries on two, two week projects each year. It also employs ambassadors – local coaches – in their project countries to continue their work between trips.
Looking forward to his Great Swim Challenge, Hoggy said “Cricket has given me so much over the years and it is great to be able to give something back. I would urge all cricket fans to support CWB - either by joining me on the swims and raising money themselves or by sponsoring me.”
“I had plenty of nerve-wracking moments in my career, from making my Test debut against the West Indies at Lord’s in 2000 to facing the Aussies in the 2005 Ashes but, not being a swimmer, the thought of lining up with thousands of other people for the Great Swim Series is right up there.”
CWB co-founder and trustee, Chris Kangis said: “We are delighted to have Matthew Hoggard on board for the Great Swims. CWB kicked off our first project at the end of the legendary 2005 Ashes series so it is great to have one of the stars of that series taking part in the Great Swims for CWB as part of our 10th Anniversary. This is a fantastic opportunity for existing volunteers to celebrate the last 10 years and for new people to get involved with CWB and help make our 10th Anniversary year a real success.”
It is vital CWB receive the funding they require to maintain their operations in Sub-Saharan Africa. To show your support please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/MatthewHoggard.